Geese preparing to land

Can't remember the correct term for this! When they turn abruptly from side to side to lose altitude quickly! Anyway, was looking through some shots I took back in August at Venus of some Canadas coming in and noticed that some geese turn completely over whilst doing this!! On top of that, his head is still the right way up!! Quite amazing to think that they can keep their heads the right way up like it whilst moving their wings and bodies from left to right at quite a speed!!

and another

"All weeds are flowers, once you get to know them" (Eeyore)

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  • Anonymous

    Hi MarJus

    Fabulous pictures and all action shots going on - well done!

    I picked this information of the website:

    While being in full flight, the goose had to return to 180 degrees, a manoeuvre called 'whiffle' destined to slow down in the buffeting winds which is also a great method for quick braking. It allows geese quickly reduce the height and reduce speed.

    The meaning of whiffle:

    whiffle definition

    whif·fle (hwifəl, wif-)

    intransitive verb whiffled -·fled, whiffling -·fling

    1. to blow fitfully; blow in puffs or gusts: said of the wind
    2. to shift or veer about; vacillate

    Other bits of information that would be of interest about the subject of geese:

    You have a 'GAGGLE' of Geese.

    A lot of Geese in flight is called a 'SKEIN'

    A 'V' formation of geese in flight is called a 'WEDGE'

    Some useless information but of interest I am sure of that.  I did not know some of this myself! {blush}


    Kathy and Dave

  • Yes it's called whiffling. And your topmost shot is one of the best pics I've ever seen - not every day you see a goose flying upside down! I remember Sir Peter Scott writing about it in relation to one of his waterfowl paintings - I have a suspicion that he may even be responsible for inventing the term in the first place. But I'm probably wrong and it goes back way further than that.

  • In reply to Anonymous:


    Lovely pictures, MarJus.  I've never really thought about how geese come down from a really high altitude, so the pictures are really educational.

    Thanks for the info Blackbird.  You never know when "What is the term for a large group of geese in flight?" will come up in a pub quiz.  ;-)



    Warning!  This post contains atrocious spelling, and terrible grammar.  Approach with extreme edginess.

  • Well done, not many people are lucky enough to get a picture of this.

    I remember this one being in our local paper, of a Greylag Goose completley upside down, this picture was taken at RSPB Strumpshaw Fen in Norfolk (Apologies to The Eastern Daily Press as the link is for the Telegraph article, see it even made the nationals)

    I think you will agree that it is a pretty amazing image.

    "Feed the birds, tuppence a bag" Mary Poppins

  • Absolutely fantastic photographs Marjus. As you say, how do they keep their heads facing the correct way and their bodies in various other directions. Thank you so much. 

  • In reply to Brenda H:

    Nice one MarJus, That top shot is very nice. I'm inspired and will be keeping my eyes open for  such an opportunity. I want one. 

    John :-)

    For viewing or photography right place right time is everything. I'd rather be in the right place with poor kit than have the best kit and be in the wrong place.

  • In reply to Highland McHale:

    Lovely shots MarJus - it's really amazing I never knew they did that - you learn something knew everyday. 



  • In reply to Kezmo:

    Brilliant photos MarJus. I saw a tree full of assorted members of the tit family do similar a couple of days back but that was due solely to a very strong gust of wind and, believe me, they were as surprised as I was!

    The necessity of bird-watching is a really good reason for avoiding all forms of housework.

    The dust will still be there tomorrow - the birds may not be!

  • In reply to Squirrel:

    Whiffling!! That's it! I looked with Google but obviously didn't use the 'correct' keywords! Lol!! Thanks for the info Blackbird and Colin!

    Venus Pool offers superb opportunities to see this as the pool isn't that large and there are a lot of geese that use it (more so in the summer it seems!) so they need to get down quickly to land in the water. The ducks do it as well to an extent but it's far quicker and less obvious than with the geese! 

    Glad everyone enjoyed the pics and thanks for the comments! :-)

    Indeed that's an amazing pic ND!!

    "All weeds are flowers, once you get to know them" (Eeyore)

    My photos on Flickr